One of our favorite birds has become the Phainopepla. We just love how this guy struts his stuff, posing like a male model, feeding like a flycatcher, whistling and calling like a Northern Cardinal.
The other day at Organ Pipe National Monument, I saw a female Phaina fly out of a bush near the trail with her partner nearby. Peering in to where she departed, I spotted this nest.
Waiting quietly with the dog, I watched her watch me and after a bit, ease toward the nest. She settled in and I took a few shots and left her alone, showing her to Sally a little later. We loved the punk hairdo.
As Vermonters, we tend to forget that February is nesting season along the border, but the next day, a similar thing happened. I saw a Cactus Wren emerge from a Cholla Cactus and watched her scout around for grass and twigs. I went over and found a nest, which was under construction.
Retreating, I watched her return with nest lining matter and then pause before her next venture.
Now really interested about nests, we started to find several others. I peeked into one, jumped back with a shout of surprised, and then carefully looked at a nesting Curve-billed Thrasher. Can you see her?
She’s at the bottom of the dark area, her beak is headed toward the ten o’clock position and her red eye is barely visible behind a tiny branch.
Looking for nests is a good way to sharpen our birding skills and observe bird behavior unobtrusively. It is a nice new challenge.